Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Brother Bond

An old picture of Connor and Collin.  Love this shot!

Before we added each new son, I braced myself for the reaction of the older siblings.  I tried to make the transition positive and smooth and so I gathered advice from seasoned moms.  I read books to the boys that touted the joys of being a big brother.  I tried to lavish them with attention even as I cradled a new baby bundle in my arms.

Amazingly enough, the addition of brothers two and three caused nary a ripple in our family.  But, the addition of brother number four was not as peaceful.  Connor, four-years-old at the time, was distraught.  We were shocked.  Connor was the one that rolled with the punches and tended to maintain a sunny disposition regardless of the circumstances.  But Connor was so disruptive while I was at the hospital tending to his two-day-old brother that Chris left my bedside and devoted some individual time to his sassy son.

 With such a rocky start, one would never expect that those two turned into the best of buds (definitely the strongest alliance among my brood of boys).  There's a bond between those two brothers that makes me smile and pray that their relationship always stays that strong.  Connor relishes his roll as the heroic older brother.  In turn, Collin laps up all the attention and affection showered upon him by his older brother.  It works for both of them and it makes me happy.

Lately, Collin is struggling with a nasty case of separation anxiety.  He greets transitions into the preschool class or the Sunday school class with batches of tears and a round of wails.  I braced myself for Collin's same reaction this morning to a preschool drop-off.  Connor understood the situation.  As Collin was preparing to walk out the door, Connor handed him a green, furry stuffed animal about the size of his little brother.  It was Hopper.  One of Connor's favorites.  Something Connor doesn't part with easily.  Something he won at a birthday party.

Connor pulled his little brother over and asked, "Would you like to bring Hopper to preschool with you?"

Collin's face erupted into joy.  He snagged the stuffed animal and waltzed out of our house.  At preschool, Collin lugged this ginormous (really Connor, you couldn't pick a smaller one?) stuffed animal around the halls.  Then, he practically skipped into the preschool classroom, sans tears or any sort of drama.  I could tell he was proud.  I knew it really wasn't about the mangy stuffed animal in his arms, but more about the adoration he had for the brother that gave it to him.

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